The next growth frontier: Reimagining telecommunications in the digital age

Telecommunications has never been an important Industry in our modern human history, with the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding, society relied on connectivity to access essentials of day-to-day life, telcos today are looking into their business and operating models with a new lens. Creating a strong foundation for digitalisation with the potential of US$2 trillion through 2025. As the digital revolution unfolds, the telco ecosystem has opened up to an immense opportunity to move up the value-chain to explore new revenue levers.

Today the telco ecosystem represents an increasing competitive pressure on core business and an immense opportunity to move up the value-chain to explore new sources of revenue levers. To excel in today’s ever changing market dynamics and customer needs, a telco needs to build agile, modular, customer-centric and intelligent platforms that leverage their own and partner’s services.

Key value drivers and market levers in telecom

Telcos over the past decade have seen revenue growth stagnate, despite the exponential growth in bandwidth usage, forcing them to ponder upon the new age growth drivers. Today, telcos are diversifying their revenue streams but margin management remains a challenge. Some of the key pain points and opportunity drivers for telcos across the pivots of business, operations, customers and services are as follows:

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Hence, the key value drivers and focus areas for telcos across the globe should be:

● Omnichannel experience: The ability to provide an omnichannel experience by enabling the front (digital) to quickly adapt to market realities without having the backend undergo major changes.
● Modular new-age scalable platforms to onboard and bundle new partners and their offerings quickly and consistent product and services information across channels.
● The ability to track consumer behavior across channels and achieve personalisation at scale, thereby providing a superior customer experience.
● Expanding product portfolio from core to complementary and beyond, thereby increasing channels and digital touchpoints to reach a larger audience.
● Building and participating in ecosystems to collaborate and create economic value.

Now coming to niche focus areas of digital levers in the telecom, network of the future is a term telecom operators should swear by. Virtualising the current legacy infrastructure promises to fundamentally change the basis of future service, by creating self-optimising and safe zero-touch networks.

Expanding the product portfolio from core to complementary and beyond is another key driver. The increased digital transformation presents the telecom industry with opportunities to extend revenue streams beyond connectivity through IoT solutions, consumer and enterprise digital services across digital touchpoints, and reimagined digital communication models leveraging augmented reality/virtual reality and smart mobile advertising.

Lastly, to win the race for customer loyalty and wallet share, telecom industry players should focus on providing superior customer experience and building and participating in ecosystems to collaborate and create economic value and exciting digital experiences.

Customer experience management in telecom: What, why, how?

Further proliferating to the telecom value chain elements, network convergent technology and infrastructure, products and services, partner and ecosystem, enterprise technology, and customer experience management (CXM) form the core of it. Drawing our expertise in CXM, we define CXM in telecom as the amalgamation of the “system of records”, “system of intelligence”, “system of engagement” and “system of things” for an end to end digital transformation across the customer lifecycle.

Essentially, it means mapping customer interactions across touchpoints and channels and optimising customer journey by delivering personalised experiences with Integrated technology and services. However, the needs and expectations of the partner ecosystem are changing. Telecom providers will be facing discrepancies in consistent brand and omni-channel experience, and contextualising personalisation to align with the customer demands.

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The need and expectations of our core partners and customers are changing rapidly and some of the key challenges in delivering a best in class experience are:
● Consistent brand experience and engagement. Customers expect the brand’s value proposition to be delivered consistently across their customer journey. Currently, there is a value leakage across the customer journey due to channel proliferation and inconsistent interactions across touchpoints.
● A holistic customer profile. Organisations and brands should strive for having a single source of truth on customer’s interactions, channels, purchasing behavior, experiences and social interaction to create an integrated and unified communication strategy.
● Omnichannel experience. Omnichannel experience is one of the biggest challenges for organisations. An integrated channel experience is highly desirable, but hard to achieve.
● Contextualising personalisation - Every customer wants to be treated as a valued individual. Hence businesses should be able to chalk out relevant user persona and optimise their touchpoint management.

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Enabling telcos to measure customer experience and creating a differentiated experience across channels will be a major competitive advantage and will enable combat some of the bottom-line pressures.

Walking the talk leadership: Enabling telco transformations across the globe

BORN built a commerce platform for a leading telecom player in Malaysia, that delivers an exceptional customer experience. One of the hallmarks of the solution was the implementation of the headless commerce architecture with a common commerce platform providing unified catalog, payments, order management, and fulfilment capabilities across all channels. As a result of the solutions implemented, over 3.5 million users were registered across digital channels in eight months since launch.

There has been a 150% increase in the number of transactions on web channels, a 300% increase in conversion rate, a 30% reduction in bounce rate with a 10% increase in average web session duration.

We were also approached by one of the global leaders in communication technology, to create a fully integrated solution that could deliver advanced services to 3.5 million businesses across six continents. We implemented a diverse range of technology improvements, including new feature development, integration of multiple updated applications, and development of automated workflows.

The company saw an improved user experience with a five-point NPS improvement while the bottom line improved with a 70% reduction in the manual intervention. Our solution combined insight-driven CX and strategy frameworks to deliver the best outcomes. The accelerator methodologies used, delivered a customer-centric approach at speed. The company was able to apply a catalog of behavioral nudges to review their current user journeys.

The writer is Aditya Basu, consulting and marketing - APAC at BORN Group. He can be contacted at: